Kevin Sefcik always has wanted to be a baseball head coach.
That ambition was realized Friday when Marist named Sefcik its coach. He takes over for Tom Fabrizio, who resigned in June.
“It’s been a goal of mine to be a head coach,” said Sefcik, 43. “I’m extremely excited about this opportunity. I want to give the kids a great experience.”
The hiring of Sefcik provides Marist with a cache few other high school baseball programs can boast: a head coach who played Major League Baseball.
Sefcik, a 1989 Andrew graduate, played five seasons in the big leagues, primarily with the Philadelphia Phillies. An outfielder/infielder, he had a .275 career batting average over 771 at-bats.
For the past six seasons, Sefcik has been baseball director for the Illinois Sparks travel team. Along with those duties, he was an assistant coach at Brother Rice the past three seasons. Prior to that, he was an assistant at St. Xavier, his alma mater.
“Kids are looking for a way to get better,” Sefcik said. “My experience playing and coaching, I feel I have a good game plan to make that happen. I’m going to run the summer camps a little different than other programs do — more about teaching and learning. It’s going to be a process to improve the program. But I’m ready to dive in.”
The RedHawks won 21 games in 2014, falling to Lincoln-Way North in a regional final. Expected back in 2015 is a solid nucleus, including pitcher/outfielder Ryan Kairis, infielder/pitcher Pat Meehan and catcher Eric Hansen.
“We have some quality kids coming back,” Sefcik said. “The (East Suburban Catholic) conference is off-the-charts good. We’ll have our work cut out. But if we play good defense, throw strikes and get timely hitting, we’ll be successful.”
Marist athletic director Bob Lim is confident Sefcik can take the program to new heights.
“Kevin is the total package,” said Lim, who chose Sefcik from a pool of 17 applicants. “What he’s done as a major leaguer speaks for itself. He brings a lot to the table, and he wants to do things the right way. He connects with kids and wants what’s best for them. We’re really excited to have him leading our baseball program.”